Old Montreal is one of my favourite places to explore whenever I am visiting the city for work or vacation. I've been to Montreal four times already this year and I consider it my second adopted city. The thing about going to a new city, are the inevitable 'tourist trap' restaurants in popular areas such as Old Montreal. So when my friend and fellow food blogger, Eve Martel told me about BEVO Bar + Pizzeria, I knew I had to visit because I love Italian food and it's close to where I usually stay and walkable from the Sid Lee office.
BEVO seats up to 300 people on busier nights and an ideal spot if you're travelling with a big group to Montreal (bachelor + bachelorette parties). The patio is the perfect place to people watch and to catch the breeze coming up from the St. Lawrence River at night.
We started with The Antipasti Di Casa ($14) or the house anitpasto platter. If you don't have time for dinner, but just want to savour a crisp glass of white wine on the patio - order this! It's everything that is quintessentially Italian to me with mixed olives, marinate artichokes, fresh tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms and fior di latte mozzarella cheese. It was a treat to share and beautiful to look at. Nothing was overly sour and everything was full of fresh flavour.
The Berry Mojito (left, $12) was sweet and not overly boozy in taste. It was incredibly refreshing and my favourite cocktail of the two - made with spice rum, syrup, muddled berries, lime, mint and soda. A little bit tangier was The Blood Orange Cosmopolitan ($10) made with vodka, Grand Marnier and fresh orange juice.
The Salumi Misti ($16) was a lovely compliment to our antipasto platter with a mix of prosciutto, speck, bresaola, soppresata and coppa. The meats are hand-chosen by the Executive Chef and imported from Italy. Another great dish to share and eat family style.
The Finocchio E Arance Con Noci ($10) is a shaved fennel salad with oranges and pecans finished off with a lemon vinaigrette. I found it simple, light and refreshing with a crunchy anise flavour that is complimented by the orange juice.
My favourite dish from the whole meal was by far the fried Arancino Ball ($9) Think of a saffron Parmesan risotto ball that is breaded and fried and bursting with meat ragu and mozzarella. The rice on the inside was perfectly cooked and the outside was nice and crunchy. Smother all that goodness with a hot Bolognese and you have a little piece of heaven. It did not disappoint and tasted as good as it looked.
The Margherita Pizza ($15) was my least favourite of the night. I think next time I'll go for a more complex pizza and everyone keeps raving about the White Pizza. The crust was chewy and delicious but I would have loved more cheese and I just wasn't feeling the sauce on this one.
The chef sent over a Nutella Pizza for dessert - you can't go wrong with this.
Interesting architecture and cool bubble space chairs when BEVO goes lounge late at night. The restaurant is also open late until 2 AM Thursday to Saturday. For easy and casual Italian eats, look up BEVO next time you're in Montreal.
BEVO Bar + Pizzeria
410 Rue Saint-Vincent, Old Montreal